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Minnesota’s February economic forecast will be released next Tuesday, March 2.  Rumors have been thick that it will report a slightly less dire deficit than that reported in November.

The November forecast predicted a $1.2 billion deficit for the rest of the FY2010-11 biennium.  Lawmakers and others are hopeful the new forecast will show a deficit of $1 billion, or about $200 million less.

Aging Services of Minnesota will provide more information as it becomes available.

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Aging Services of Minnesota testified for the second time on the governor’s budget, this time before the House Health Care and Human Services Finance Committee.  We spoke in opposition to the governor’s proposed 2.5% cuts to HCBS and care centers, and in favor of his proposal to repeal rate equalization.  You can listen to the hearing online; Kari Thurlow’s testimony is near the end of the hearing.

As in Senator Berglin’s hearing, opponents of repealing rate equalization presented passionate arguments as to why Minnesota should keep care center rates equalized between private pay and Medicaid residents.   However, House committee members seemed more open to arguments about how the law has become outdated: the state is no longer holding up its promise to pay the cost of care; federal law prohibits discrimination based on payor source; and short stays for rehabilitation are becoming more and more common as longer stays decline.

You can use the tools provided in our grassroots advocacy toolkit to contact your legislators about why now is the time to repeal rate equalization for care centers.  While you’re there, make sure to send them a note about why we should be prioritizing older adult services, not cutting them!

This morning, Aging Services of Minnesota testified before the Senate Health and Human Services Budget Division, chaired by Sen. Linda Berglin of Minneapolis.  The full video of the hearing can be seen at http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/media/media_video_popup.php?flv=cmte_finhhsc_022310.flv.

Aging Services testified in opposition to the proposed 2.5% cut to older adult services providers, including care centers.  We also supported the proposal to repeal rate equalization.   In addition, Aging Services provided background information to the committee about the economic impact of older adult services providers , the cumulative impact of cuts to Elderly Waiver services, and repealing rate equalization.

Aging Services will testify to the governor’s proposed budget before the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee this Thursday at 1 PM.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Aging matters to all of us.

This blog will address the issues, questions, challenges and opportunities that surface as we work to meet the demands of an aging population.

It’s also a place to highlight the people and organizations whose passion, creativity and commitment are shaping the future of older adult services in Minnesota.

Everyone has a story about how aging impacts their life – we hope you’ll join the conversation and share your story.

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